What happens is you get a great turnout. Confessional guys are just as hungry for good conferences as the Church Growth boys but they just rarely get a docket that is worth their time. The Northern Illinois District (NID) is putting on a stewardship conference today with a confessional speaker and sure enough, there is a great turnout even though it is the first week of summer.
NID Bishop Gilbert introduced the topic and speaker by openly admitting it was pure nepotism. The speaker is his son-in-law Rev. Heath Curtis from downstate Illinois. 56 pastors and laity turned out to hear Rev. Curtis talk about a stewardship crisis that he faced when he arrived at the dual parish he serves now and how he faced it with teaching on what the church is about, promoting the use of the tithe, pledge cards, the table of duties from the Small Catechism and other tactics.
Curtis admits he is a very unlikely seminar leader on stewardship but also admits that he and other confessional pastors overlook the importance of instructing the congregation on various important Scriptural matters including stewardship. One of the many memorable quotes was on the use of the tithe. “If the Jews, known for their parsimony, can live under the requirement of a tithe then certainly we Christians should have no problem with it.”
The seminar has been very helpful. I and others in attendance have benefited from Curtis’ no nonsense approach to stewardship and have enjoyed a morning’s worth of a look into the life of a practicing confessional pastor.